Last time Robert De Niro and director Martin Scorsese teamed up for a film set in a casino, most of the characters wound up in cadaver pouches.
That seems less likely this time round; the long-time cohorts have reunited for new short film ‘The Audition’, produced to promote the opening of the City of Dreams casino in Manila.
The full film doesn’t debut till mid-2015 when the casino itself opens. But a teaser trailer has been released, featuring Bob, Marty and a third big-name – Leonardo DiCaprio (himself another frequent Scorsese collaborator of course, most recently in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’).
The trailer’s not exactly revealing, aside from giving viewers a glimpse of the whopping beard DiCaprio’s been nurturing for his role in ‘The Revenant’, the forthcoming Western from ‘Birdman’ director Alejandro González Iñárritu.
‘The Audition’ is latest in a line of big-budget brand films involving top Hollywood talent; see also Jude Law in ‘The Gentleman’s Wager’ for Johnnie Walker and Wes Anderson’s ‘Castello Cavalcanti’ for Prada.
But what’s made headlines about ‘The Audition’ is just how much Melcro Crown Entertainment, the backer of City of Dreams, has reputedly shelled out to secure their star names.
According to Vanity Fair, De Niro and DiCaprio both pocketed $13 million each, with the whole production costing $70 million.
If those figures are correct then that not only makes ‘The Audition’ the most expensive ad in history, it will also likely have made the accountants of everyone concerned very, very happy indeed.
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Update: Since writing this article, all trailers have been removed from YouTube.